Kobe Bryant Speech: Love What You Do!
Watch this famous Kobe Bryant Speech. A 5-time NBA champion, Bryant entered the National Basketball Association directly from high school and played his entire 20-season professional career in the league with the Los Angeles Lakers. Unfortunately, Bryant died at age 41 along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Enjoy our Speeches with big English subtitles and keep your English learning journey.
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Kobe Bryant Quote:
“If you do not believe in yourself no one will do it for you.” Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant full TRANSCRIPT:
“Interviewer: Alright, you ready to go.
Kobe: I’m ready to go. Alright. I feel… I feel a little underdressed. I just came from the basketball court, you know.
Interviewer: There’s been so many athletes that have made the NBA the highest echelon of professional basketball in the world, and there are athletes that can jump as high as the sky and run as fast as you know a cheetah. They get hit buckets, they can react, but it’s the special niche of players that have that mindfulness. That has that attacking mode, that relentless mode; that mode where they go ice-cold last few minutes, you know. I think…. I think that makes a difference between the great ones and the greatest ones, right?
Kobe: Yeah, you know it’s…. it’s funny like for me the mentality is a really simple one in a sense that the confidence comes from preparation. You know, so when the game’s on a line, I’m not asking myself to do something that I haven’t done thousands of times before right, so when I prepare, I know what I’m capable of doing. I know what I’m comfortable doing, and I know what. I’m not comfortable doing alright, and so in those moments, if it looks like I’m ice cold or not nervous, it’s because I’ve done it thousands of times before, so it’s one more time.
Interviewer: So that leads me to talk about a lot of this Kobe tour this year in Asia is we ….we reiterate the Mamba mentality you know. Can you talk a little bit about what the Mamba mentality is because that’s something that’s been developing over, I don’t want to say 20 years it’s been developing for 35 years since you were a little kid.
Kobe: Well, I mean overall, you know the idea is a very simple one, and you know, the Mamba mentality simply means trying to be the best version of yourself. That’s what the mentality means. It means every day you know you’re trying to become better, and it’s a constant quest. It’s an infinite quest, so starting at the age of two when I first started playing the game and on and on and on, I always ask questions. I always try to get better every single day, learn more, learn more.
Interviewer: You were asking questions at two?
Kobe: Oh, dude, I was asking questions all the time. You’d be surprised, like some people like my kids at two could do a lot of things. Right. At two, I could dribble the basketball. I could shoot a basketball on the nerf hoop at the house and I would go to practice with my father. I would observe my father. I’d sit and watch games with him.
Interviewer: Was he your first coach?
Kobe: Yeah, man, I guess you could say that. You know a lot of things I learned by just being around the game, so by the age of six, I was already strategizing versus other six-year-olds; you know at the age of six, I figured out that six-year-olds couldn’t dribble with their left hand, so I said okay.
Interviewer: A lot of 12-year-olds can’t dribble with their left hand.
Kobe: Well yeah, I would imagine six, so like I was playing these six-year-old kids, I would make them dribble with their left because I knew they couldn’t, so they dribble off their foot, I’d pick it up lay it up, do it again. Dribble off foot pick it up lay it up so at six-year-old I had 63 points. I remember mine…
Interviewer: So your six-year-old self could beat you’re a 38-year-old self cause you only scored 60 in the last game.
Kobe: Yeah, but um… but yeah listen, I just constantly looked for things to learn from and very observant.
Interviewer: Okay, so when we talk about the mamba mentality you have your exhibition today starting in Shanghai right; also we’ve been talking about this whole tour with young kids that are five, ten, fifteen, twenty, we’ve been…. we just did a Kobe Academy right now. We talk about being passionate, being obsessive, being relentless, being resilient and being fearless. These are the five pillars of the Mamba mentality, so we’ll kind of break that down today.
Interviewer: The first one is to be passionate. You know, what is that? Is there a …is there a moment where you can define your passion for the game, or was it just something accumulated over time?
Kobe: Well, I mean, you know the passion came from the love for the game, you know I loved everything about it. Like the smell of the ball.
Interviewer: You love the smell of the ball?
Kobe: Yes, the ball. You know the smell of like brand-new sneakers, and like the sound, the ball makes when it hits the ground.
Interviewer: Sneakers in the gym…
Kobe: Yeah, the ball going through the net. Like all those things I love, and so the passion comes from that because once you have that love, you just want to be a part of this thing all the time.
Interviewer: When you talk about this love, when does it develop? Were you… Did you like it when you were five, or is it something that kind of gradually….
Kobe: It was two. I was born, and I was born to play basketball you know what I mean, and I played a lot of different sports, but nothing brought me the sense of peace and escape, you know, that the game of basketball does.
Interviewer: Is it an escape when you get on the court? Is that your Zen time? Your solitude time?
Interviewer: Even though it’s a teamwork game.
Kobe: Yeah, when I need that escape, it’s there for me, right. When I need a friend, it’s there for me. You know when I need to vent and dunk…
Interviewer: The Mamba comes out.
Kobe: It’s there. So yeah, the game is absolutely everything for me.
Interviewer: When you… when we talk about trying to get kids to be passionate, I don’t think every kid… I don’t think your situation is the norm. Not every kid is….knows they’re passionate at two or five, right. How do kids find that passion that because you… you embraced it right away.
Kobe: I think as parents, we try to put them in different things, try to expose them to as many things as possible, and then see if there’s one thing that connects with them because if it does, you don’t have to tell them to do it. You know, whether it’s writing or painting or drawing, you know, if they have that passion, you don’t have to tell them; they’ll go off and do it because it’s just fun. They’d rather do that did anything else so, but as parents, it’s our job to just expose them to as many things as possible and see which one they gravitate to the most.
Interviewer: It’s interesting because you talk about kids, right. Originally we’re talking about you now you’re talking about your kids and their passions. Do you kind of feel that passion for them and then say hey, let’s go play some basketball or volleyball or let’s go swimming?
Kobe: Yeah, we expose them to all kinds of it may. They play a lot of different sports, they do a lot of things creatively you know in writing, and things like that and designing and you just sit back, and you just watch which one they move to and then it’s our responsibility as parents to try to set them up for success as much as we possibly can.
Interviewer: Do you want them to play basketball?
Kobe: I want them to find whatever it is that they’re passionate about, like whatever they feel like their purpose is, and that’s what I want them to do.
Interviewer: Do they love basketball, though?
Kobe: So, my youngest one she does, she wants to. She wants to play. She wants me to teach how to play this summer, and you know our eldest is really into volleyball, so and but we’ll see you know passions tend to change.
Interviewer: So you’re going to get into volleyball now?
Kobe: Well yeah… yeah, my sister was a great volleyball player, so we have a teacher in the family.
Interviewer: Is there…. is there one moment where you can say it defined your passion for basketball? Is there a story or moment when you said yeah that was…that was it; that was like when I felt really passionate?
Kobe: No, it doesn’t… it never leaves … it never leaves like I… you know the game was just a part of me, so it never leaves even now that I’m retired you know everything I’ve learned from the game of basketball I’ve carried it over into life. You know, like basketball helped me be a better person, a better friend, a better father…
Interviewer: How so?
Kobe: Because there are life lessons that are within the game like communications, like unselfishness, like attention to detail and empathy and compassion like all those things are in the game and as an athlete, if we are aware of those things it helps us become better human… human beings.
Interviewer: And you can apply that toward your post-basketball days retirement; into your business world, your future ventures….
Kobe: Sure, I mean, you can apply; you know I was applying that even while I was playing just in life outside of the game and even more so now. You know, in building a business and all those things, you know, kind of culture you want to have, and all those things are directly learned from the game of basketball to me.
Interviewer: Next up is the next pillar to be obsessive. Obsessive, that’s I think …I think a lot of people equate that with you. You know Kobe is obsessive in a lot of things. We’ve been doing this for what eight years now, Asia tour. You know I’ve been with you for a long way. The one moment that stands out, out of we’ve done, I don’t know how many that we’ve done. We’ve done way eight hundred events. The one time was 4:00 a.m. We went out to practice at 4:00 a.m., and that was your idea to do it but and then you know all these Nike people are like no no no no let’s not, let’s not do that and then you’re like let’s do it at 4 a.m., so you got security, you got brand marketing, sports marketing going no no no no no no no let’s not do it. You’re like, let’s do it because that’s your sustenance.
Kobe: I mean to me it just makes complete sense.
Interviewer: Not to us. I’m sleeping at 4 a.m. you’re here working out, so talk about that.
Kobe: Okay, so if, if your job is to try to be the best basketball player you can be. Right. To do that, you have to practice. You have to train, right. You want to train as much as you can as often as you can. So if you get up at ten in the morning, train at 11:00, right, 12:00, say 12:00; train at 12:00. Train for two hours, twelve to two you have to let your body recover; so you eat, recover whatever you get back out you train start training again at six; train from six to eight right and now you go home and shower, you eat dinner, you go to bed. You wake up and do it again. Right, those are two sessions. Right now, imagine you wake up at 3:00 you train at 4:00. You go 4:00 to 6:00 come home, breakfast, relax, so now you’re back at it again 9:00 to 11:00 right, relax, and now you’re back at it again 2:00 to 4:00, and now you’re back at it again you know 7:00 to 9:00, look how much more training I have done by simply starting at four right, and so now you do that and as the years go on the separation that you have with your competitors and your peers just grows larger and larger and larger and larger and larger, and by year five or six doesn’t matter what kind of work they’re doing a summer they’re never going to catch up because they’re five years behind so it makes sense to get up and start your day early because you can get more work in.
Interviewer: Is that genetic, or is that something you engrained and trained yourself? Who taught you that?
Kobe: No, it was just like you that for me, it was… it was just common-sense like I can; if I just start earlier, I can train more hours, and I know the other guys aren’t doing it because I know what their training schedule is. Right so I know if I do this consistently over time is…the gap is just going to widen and widen and widen and widen, and they won’t be able to get that back. So for me it was just common sense. I’m like thinking, how can I get an advantage? Oh, start earlier, yeah, let’s do that.
Interviewer: When did you start doing that?
Kobe: Man, like in high school. We start; my first class on high school was 7:00…7:45, I usually get to the gym around 5:00 a.m., and I’d play before school, and then the school starts…
Interviewer: Who’s playing with you at 5:00 a.m.?
Kobe: My coach. My coach would show up, and we’d do all these basketball drills
Interviewer: So, just you and your coach?
Kobe: Just me, my coach, and sometimes it would just be me and the janitor who’s still there today, and then I play at lunchtime.
Interviewer: That guy should get a medal.
Kobe: I hooked him up with a few things, but I played during lunch and then practice after and then go home, do my schoolwork and then watch a bunch of game films and games on TV and study. Study film.
Interviewer: Was that the only thing you’ve been obsessed about, basketball?
Kobe: Well, until recently, yeah, until recently, yeah, basketball dominated you know my entire life for more than 30 years.
Interviewer: What… when I brought it up like what are you… is it genetic or you just learned it. I mean how did that idea even come up because that’s obviously a pillar of Mamba mentality the obsessiveness this is just like you said I’m going to get up at 4:00, everybody going to get up at 6:00 if everybody’s going to get that 4:00 I’m going to get up at 2:00.
Right. How do you….how do you develop that or what do you… what do you learn that from?
Kobe: Well, I think it’s just no; it’s just a matter of what’s important to you. What’s important to you for whatever reason you know I felt like I didn’t feel good about myself if I wasn’t doing everything I could to be the best version of myself. If I felt like I left anything on a table, it would eat away at me; I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the mirror, right. So the reason why I can retire now and be completely comfortable about it because I know that I’ve done everything I could to be the best basketball player I could be and so that’s where it comes from for me; you can’t leave any stone unturned.
Kobe Bryant Speech